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Athletics postseason magic number: 14. Games to watch Sun. Sep. 14

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Chip Hale wears 14. Do you get it?
Chip Hale wears 14. Do you get it?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night's Athletics victory over the Seattle Mariners finally budged the magic number counter off of 16, where it had sat for three consecutive days, down to 14. A win today against Seattle will knock that number down to 12. The A's have a 1½-game advantage over Seattle now, and a ½-game lead on Kansas City for home field in the American League Wild Card game that will be played on Tuesday, September 30.

Wins Losses GB 9/13
OAK
Magic Number
Head-to-head
W-L
Notes
OAK 82 66 +0.5 Win
KC 81 66 -- Win 15 2-5 M# for home field in the AL Wild Card
SEA 80 67 1.0 Loss 14 8-10 M# for the second Wild Card (1 to play HTH)
TOR 77 70 4.0 Win 11 4-3
CLE 76 71 5.0 Loss 10 4-2
NYY 76 71 5.0 Win 10 4-2
TB 71 78 11.0 Loss 3 4-2
CWS 68 80 13.5 W, W 1 3-4
HOU 65 83 16.5 Loss Elim. 11-8
BOS 65 84 17.0 Loss Elim. 4-3
MIN 62 86 19.5 L, L Elim. 6-1
TEX 56 92 25.5 Win Elim. 7-5 7 to play HTH
Division Leaders
LAA 93 55 +11.0 Win 8-8 3 to play HTH
BAL 88 60 +10.5 Loss 4-2
DET 82 66 +0.5 Win 15 2-5

Saturday's recaps

Some snippets from around the SBNation network of Saturday's AL Wild Card race:

Yankees 3, Orioles 2

From Matt Ferenchick of Pinstripe Alley:

Much like most of the season, the Yankees offense went through a long stretch of doing nothing today. It's just that before they did that, they managed to pull a three-run inning out of who knows where. Shane Greene was impressive early, but the Orioles would mount a comeback. In the end, the three runs managed to hold up and the Yankees came away with a 3-2 win.

Must Reads

Blue Jays 6, Rays 3

From Tom Dakers of Blue Bird Banter:

Two 3-run innings were all the Jays needed today.

...

Dickey went 7 innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 earned and struck out 5. That's our 19th game in a row that our starter pitched at least 6 innings. Pitching hasn't been so much of the problem lately.

Tigers 5, Indians 4

From Al Beaton of Bless You Boys:

Down a run to the Cleveland Indians and running out of chances and outs, Alex Avila's clutch two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Detroit Tigers a drama-filled 5-4 victory. The win allows the Tigers to maintain their half-game lead over the Kansas City Royals in the race for the AL Central title.

From USSChoo of Let's Go Tribe:

In the end, the Tribe danced much better with a strong Tiger's lineup but just couldn't walk away with the victory. They fought all night long and did a good job of coming back when the Tigers took the lead but it wasn't enough. We're now one day close to our reality, whatever that may be.

Royals 7, Red Sox 1

From Shaun Newkirk of Royals Review:

The Royals beat the Red Sox handily tonight, and contrary to popular belief they are allowed to score more than 3 runs in a game.

Despite entering the game only making twenty career appearances at DH, and hitting .211/.211/.316, Aoki would get the start there tonight and go 2-4 with an RBI and cementing his place as full time DH going forward. Royals would get multi-hit games from multi-players, including a 3-hit spot from Infante who was somehow allowed to not bat second.

Athletics 3, Mariners 2 (10)

From Patrick Dubuque of Lookout Landing:

That's why the Mariners don't carry that manifest destiny that truly captivating teams do. That's why "because Mariners" still seems to stick. They win forgettably and lose painfully. If this were 1984, or even 2004, we would look at these one-run games and blame it on the manager, the symptom of a lack of heart or desire. Now we understand, through we are not consoled by it, that the team is doing the right things, just not in the right order.

Sunday's games to watch

Another full day of baseball is on order for the interested parties in the American League Wild Card race. A pair of games get underway at 10 o'clock: (1) Rays-Blue Jays and (2) Indians-Tigers. At 11 o'clock, Red Sox-Royals. The Athletics take on the Mariners at 1 o'clock, and then Yankees-Orioles at 5 o'clock is your Sunday Night Baseball matchup on ESPN.

Time (PT) Starting Pitcher Notes
10:07 AM Rays Chris Archer (9-8, 3.63) M# vs. TOR = 11
Blue Jays Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.31)
10:08 AM Indians Trevor Bauer (5-8, 4.12)
M# vs. CLE = 10
M# vs. DET = 15
Tigers Justin Verlander (13-12, 4.82)
11:10 AM Red Sox Joe Kelly (3-4, 4.14) M# vs. KCR = 15
Royals Jason Vargas (11-8, 3.25)
1:10 PM Athletics Jon Lester (14-10, 2.52) M# vs. SEA = 14
Mariners Chris Young (12-7, 3.35)
5:00 PM Yankees Hiroki Kuroda (10-9, 3.91) M# vs. NYY = 10
Orioles Chris Tillman (12-5, 3.36)